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La Conseillante: 1976 & 2004

August 22, 2012

Two bottles drunk side-by-side at Porta Porta (Stanley St), 21 Aug 2012. After having had a wonderfully superb 2004 Ch La Conseillante about 3 years ago where it was surprisingly open and inviting, I thought it’d be worth re-visiting again. Aired in bottle for an hour. This time round, the 2004 appears to be darker and tighter, initially teasing the nose and palate with notes of dark fruits and currants from a concentrated pool of ripe fruit, reasonably soft without any jarring edges, ending on a mild peppery note with a trace of new wood, but nothing effusive, the overall demeanour being one of restraint, almost shut. Over time, it just kept opening up bit by bit to reveal more of red fruits  that initially appeared towards the finish before gaining further prominence, such that by the time dinner was almost over, a lovely rosy bouquet was leaping out of the glass and the wine much more palpably relaxed. I think it is coming through the usual awkward phase when the wine is between 5-8 years of age, so probably best to lay your remaining bottles until after 2015.

If you want to know how the above wine would be like when fully matured, I suppose the 1976 Ch La Conseillante (courtesy John) may yield some clues. Decanted on site and drunk over two hours, displaying a vermillion core with a good deal of bricking. The cork had disintegrated, but the wine was still remarkably fresh, somewhat weak on the nose but it was definitely well and alive on the palate with notes of red fruits and cherries, reasonably bright and pure and almost Burgundian although time has robbed a good deal of its acidity, still carrying decent weight and length, staying the course throughout dinner without fading away. Quite impressive. I have never been disappointed by La Conseillante and this tasting appears to confirm my point of view.

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